The standard in gaming processors, at least as far as Intel goes, is the Intel Core 2 Duo and Quad Core, which offer pretty exceptional computing performance at a relatively low price. Still, as you probably are aware, no computing technology lasts forever and there is always something better coming in the pipeline. According to most people, the next generation of Intel chips is not only good, but exceptional. This next-generation chip by Intel is called the Core i7 and according to recent testing and research, it will dramatically change the way you experience gaming and computing.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Core i7 is that it has an integrated memory controller. Rather than moving from the CPU through the Front Side Bus and then eventually making it to the RAM, the process is bypassed allowing for much faster memory processing. This also eliminates the need for a front side bus and an external memory controller. By eliminating these parts, you can expect servers to reap the most benefit because of the lack of gridlock within the FSB for multiple processors.
The Core 7 also integrates tri-channel memory, and ditches the old dual-channel options. This is said to have dramatically increased memory speed, but it also was needed for processing bandwidth. It remains to be seen how well tri-channel memory actually stacks up to the current dual-channel model. But, if it means more efficient bandwidth processing, then it must have some benefit. Although most boards will have 4 slots, Intel said that adding a 4th memory stick will slow down your processing speed, to increase the RAM speed. I am still a bit skeptical about tri-channel memory. But like all other upcoming technology, it will eventually evolve into something that is either usable, or be replaced.
Another cool feature of the i7 processor line is that Intel will offer a Turbo Mode that is made possible because of the power management features of the new hardware. This chip runs so efficiently that it is able to function in a quasi “power saver” mode. This will allow the chip to use the saved power to increase frequencies as necessary during times of increased processing need. This sounds like an interesting way to preserve and spend processing power.
When tested against other more popular chips, the Intel Core 7 whooped every single chip it faced (sometimes by as much as 8o% to 90% faster speeds!) Nearly every single chipset was tested, including AMD’s flagship Phenom chip. But, nothing was able to come close. You need to buy a new board to match its chipset, so I wouldn’t recommend upgrading any time soon. You will also need to make sure you have DDR3 memory sticks, as the Core 7’s initial processor model do not support DDR2 SDRAM. While many enterprise desktops are starting to come with the i7 processor, for large corporate needs, high performance computing options are still ideal.